Wednesday, 30 November 2011


What Have You Done Today To Make You Feel Proud?

Today I was part of the 2 million plus, public sector workers who went on strike.
(A sign of the times is the protest had it's own twitter hashtag, #N30.)

I wasn't just striking for myself and fellow teachers, I also had the Armed services, Fire service and Police service at the back of my mind who don't have the option.
The police in particular are being shafted by a government that nobody voted for, and in my opinion have no mandate to enforce such money grabbing changes.

It is widely known that all the extra money we are being forced to pay 'towards our gilt edged pensions' won't be going anywhere near our pension funds.
There is enough money to keep them going for many, many years, having been renegotiated as recently as 2008.
The extra money is going to be poured into the deficit that not one single public sector worker contributed to.

It was interesting when the right wing press trotted out the tired old argument that many Private sector workers have much shoddier pensions than us, so we should be thankful (for having to pay an extra £80 a month, for maybe 7 more years, to get thousands of pounds less each year when we retire).

The fact that many Private sector workers don't have pension schemes, or choose not to pay into one, isn't a reason for us to race to the bottom , we should be trying to improve the pensions for all, both Private and Public sector.

This evening I enjoyed listening to prominent members of the government wringing their hands as they wept crocodile tears because millions of people had been inconvenienced.

 The country had apparently been shown in a bad light meaning foreign business would choose not to come here, many millions of pounds had been lost in productivity, working parents had been forced to stay at home and (I'm slightly stretching the point here), the poor little kiddies would now miss out on their chance to take up an Oxbridge place due to the gaps in their learning.

Strangely, with all the above in mind, today was also described as a 'damp squib' where people hardly noticed the protest!

I'm proud to have been on strike today and proud to have stood up for what I believe in.


Anonymous said...

I do not agree with those striking or the strike

Our country is broke and everyone is responsible for helping save our economy. For too long public sector workers have been sheltered from the realities private sector workers face.

I hope, and believe, these strikes will achieve nothing and have very little public support

Non-unionised workers raise issues with their employers without striking and is they dont like they move on - public sectors workers should take heed

Marco. said...

Hello Daily Mail!

Private sector workers might raise issues with their employers but how often are they listened to?
You also imply it was done in a whim.
Striking is a last resort. We do our jobs not for the career ladder and the BMW but to make a difference in society.

To withdraw our labour an go without pay is not something any of us feel good about.
We have hardly been sheltered.
The public sector get cuts before the private sector as we are directly run by central government.
Think of how the police are being stuffed at present.
If you are against unions then that is your position but you'd have to do without weekends, equal pay for women, paid holidays, be ok with child labour etc etc.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Anon .
Sorry but you public sector guys aren't in touch with reality . The fact is that everyone is living much longer and the sums for final salary pensions just don't add up any more . I know an ex public sector guy who still goes to Charlton , he's 90 years old and has had an index linked pension since he retired when he was 60.
Apart from a very few big companies like IBM ( and they are getting rid of it) noone has these kind of pensions anymore .
It might stack up if you got paid less than prvate sector , but the avarage public sector employee actually now gets paid more than the average private sector worker.
The numbers just don't add up and you guys need to wake up .

Marco. said...

I'd feel happier if the government were honest and said, look, we're up the khazi so all public sector workers are going to pay a £80 a month tax.
By saying the money is going towards our pensions is just an outright lie.
Not ONE penny is going into the pot. It's going to the deficit.
I direct you to the Hutton report showing how the pension cost will fall. The money is there, we just can't have it.

Anonymous said...

Good on you marco.

Anonymous said...

Sooo many flawed arguments.....

All non union workers read daily mail

The only reason child labour is illegal is due to the existence of trade unions! Really?

We all work to put at roof over our heads and food on the family table - if you're lucky enough to make a difference in society too lucky you. But I don't want to work hard to support your inflated salary or pension then in addition be inconvenienced when someone finally challenges that as the status quo

No public support and less than 1 million of the 2.6 million TUC members supported today's attempt to push us further toward economic meltdown

Marco. said...

So we have inflated salaries as well now?
Wow it is getting good isn't it?

Yesterday the Tory press & their spokes people were throwing around the lazy comments about the 'average public sector worker' having a better salary than the private sector worker.

What horlicks and totally designed to muddy the waters.

What needs to be compared is like with like.

A graduate starting wage in the public sector is usually much less than the private sector.
The rate of progression is different too.

We all have anecdotes to back up out prejudices.
Mine involves working for a bank with just A levels under my belt.
I left, went to do a degree and finally found work.
It was nearly 9 years before I caught up where my bank salary would have been had I not bothered with my higher education.

This story has more than 2 sides.
My arguments may be flawed but they are my views, expressed with honesty on a forum I have designed to express my own thoughts.

At least you didn't resort to the usual complaint which is saying I don't have something so neither should you.
Our terms and conditions were agreed after a long time.
Suddenly we are supposed to just shrug our shoulders when an unelected government try to change them?

Marco. said...

Having spent the last 5 minutes deleting vile abuse, comments are restricted for the moment.
Back soon when the 'safer' topic of CAFC returns.

Thanks to the supporters,
Grow up to the haters.